Home      Lockheed YO-3A Quiet Star


(Lockheed YO-3A Quiet Star)

Click on the picture to hear the wav sound.


      Primary Function:
      Weight Empty:
      Cruise Speed:
      Year Deployed
Continental IO-360
1 x 210 hp
3,230 lbs.
29 ft. 4 in.
57 ft.
80 mph
10,000 feet
400 miles

Kurt Olney - Crew Chief YO-3A 69-18007, Hue Phu Bai, RVN 1970 - 1971, Vice President Quiet Aircraft Assn. emailed us:

"The YO-3A, produced by Lockheed and called Quiet Star, operated in Vietnam. It was built by the Lockheed Greenhouse works.

Only eleven of the aircraft were built. Nine were deployed to Vietnam. They operated out of Hue Phu Bai, Long Thang North and Binh Thuy in 1970 - 71.

The aircraft were silent at 1,000 feet, but often flew much lower. They were equipped with night vision aerial periscopes (NVAP) with an infra red illuminator. Some aircraft had laser target designators.

The propeller was driven by a 12 belt reduction system that kept the its tips subsonic. The aircraft were slow flyers - about 70 knots, and had four hour mission capabilities.

Their engines were Continental IO-360. Propellers were wooden.

The aircraft were painted with a special radar absorbing paint. When the pilot turned off the transponder, the tower could not pick up the plane on radar.

YO-3A aircraft operated for eighteen months (summer '70 to fall '71.) The planes never took a round or were shot down.

The aircraft was used briefly by the Louisiana Fish and Game after Vietnam. The planes were too successful at catching illegal shrimpers and Louisiana sold them to the FBI. It was the 1st and last aircraft in the FBI Air Force.

Today NASA still uses a Lockheed YO-3A Quiet Star as an airborne acoustic platform for rotorcraft acoustic testing. It was also involved in sonic boom testing.

YO-3A 69-18007 is currently undergoing restoration at Cable Airport. We hope to have it up and flying in a couple of years." Thank you, Kurt, for all of the interesting YO-3A information.

YO-3A - Keith Sparks

Pictured above and below is the nice looking YO-3A built by Keith Sparks. It has a wingspan of 74" and a length of 42". In keeping with the scale appearance of the real aircraft, the rc airplane has a 9 x 7 six blade propeller. Powering the propeller is an E-flight 480 outrunner 910 KVA motor.

Bob McDaniel wrote to tell us that in the April 2008 issue of Model Airplane News there is a construction article for the Keith Sparks YO-3A. If you are looking for YO-3A plans only, they are available directly from Model Airplane News by asking for plan # FSP-0408A. Bob says that the radio control airplane is a very good looking RC model.......Thank you Bob.

The YO-3A should make an excellent motor glider.

Have you built a YO-3A or know of one that should be included on this page?  Email us.

YO-3A - flying low

YO-3A - climbing.